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Former smokers share their tips for beating cravings.

“Flavoured teas.” “Sunflower seeds.” “Chewing gum.” “Brushing my teeth.”

These were just a few of the tricks that have helped former smokers quit for good.

In our most recent smoke-free survey, 150 former smokers shared their secrets for overcoming nicotine cravings and coping with withdrawal symptoms. Research shows that cravings pass after only a few minutes. Here are some tips from former smokers for beating cravings. Could one of these ideas help you break free too?

  • Exercising, training for a bike ride or run
  • Using nicotine replacement therapies – gum, lozenge, inhaler, mouth spray and patches
  • Eating healthy snacks, crunching carrots, shelling peanuts and sunflower seeds
  • Prayer and practicing mindfulness
  • Gardening
  • Sipping water or herbal tea
  • Chewing gum or brushing teeth
  • Avoiding triggers such as alcohol and coffee
  • Deep breathing until the craving passes

There’s no question that quitting smoking is difficult. But it is doable. We can help you on your smoke-free journey.

There is no better time to go smoke-free. Fraser Health supports a smoke-free environment at all of our sites. All of our buildings, properties and parking lots are covered by a Smoke-Free Policy to protect the health of our employees, patients, clients and visitors. Our policy covers commercial tobacco, e-cigarettes, smoking marijuana (medical or recreational) and other vapour products – their use is not permitted on our property.

We’ve gone smoke-free to better serve our communities. Research shows that smoke-free policies help smokers quit and reduce their temptation to smoke. It’s also a lot safer for our employees to work and easier for our patients to heal when they are not exposed to second-hand smoke.

Thinking about addressing your tobacco use? Here are some resources to help you:

  • Did you know that if you are an in-patient in one of our hospitals or facilities, we can provide you with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) such as nicotine patches, gum, lozenges or inhalers for the entire length of your stay? Ask one of your care providers to explain the options to you.
  • Did you know that after your discharge from hospital you can continue to access free NRT through the BC Smoking Cessation Program? This program is open to all B.C. residents and provides non-prescription nicotine replacement therapy products such as the patch, gum, lozenge or inhaler at no cost. Simply head to a drugstore and talk to a pharmacist to learn more. The program also covers prescription smoking cessation drugs through benefits for those who qualify for Fair PharmaCare. Speak with your family physician to see if prescription smoking cessation medication is right for you.
  • Did you know that you can access free and confidential one-to-one coaching to stop smoking through QuitNow? QuitNow provides support through their interactive online service or through text, chat, email and phone support. They provide phone services in 300 languages, plus an online community of peers to cheer you along in your smoke-free journey. Visit or call (call 1-877-455-2233) to speak with a coach today.
  • Tobacco has played a sacred role in First Nations and Métis cultures in B.C. for thousands of years. Visit Respecting Tobacco and Keep It Sacred for more information on how to quit commercial tobacco and keep tobacco sacred.
  • Did you know you can learn more about smoking cessation on our website Here you can find tips and tricks for stopping smoking, and compare nicotine replacement therapies, and read inspiring articles of others who have quit.

Share your own advice for beating cravings in the comments below and inspire someone else to achieve smoke-free success. Tell us: What helped you quit? Read our earlier article, “What’s your reason for going smoke-free? for inspiration.

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